We’ve all experienced getting a piece of food stuck in between our teeth at some point, and this is common with several types of food. However, if you find yourself getting food stuck in the same places almost every time you eat, you may have something called a food trap. While this may sound like a minor inconvenience, your dentist in Chapel Hill wants you to know that a food trap could cause problems.
What Causes a Food Trap?
A food trap can be caused by a number of things, some of which should be diagnosed and treated by your dentist in Chapel Hill. The most common causes of a food trap include:
Larger gaps in between teeth provide a great place for pieces of food to hide. Even if you had braces when you were younger, teeth can shift over time and cause gaps. Your dentist may suggest some additional type of orthodontic solution such as clear aligners, traditional braces, or certain types of cosmetic dentistry.
Cavities cause tiny holes in teeth where both bacteria and food can get stuck. The longer a cavity goes untreated, the bigger it can get and the more problems it can cause. However, getting a cavity filled is often an easy treatment that you shouldn’t put off.
Gum disease occurs when there’s an infection in the gum tissue. This can create pockets between your teeth and up into your gums. Again, these small spaces give food a nice place to get stuck. Gum disease can be serious and can lead to other problems, including tooth loss, so it’s important to catch it early while treatment is still often successful.
It’s important to talk with your dentist about any dental problems you may have, including if food gets stuck in your teeth, so they can take a closer look and help prevent problems.
Food Traps Can Be Dangerous
Even if you brush your teeth twice a day, if food particles are lingering around in between your teeth all day long, they can feed mouth bacteria and increase the risk of tooth decay and other problems. This is why it’s so important to brush your teeth and floss regularly. If you do feel a piece of food stuck in your teeth, try to remove it as soon as possible.
How to Remove Food From in Between Teeth
When you’re dealing with a pesky piece of food wedged in between your teeth, you’ll use almost anything to get it out. However, your dentist in Chapel Hill recommends that you only use dental floss or a toothbrush. These tools are designed to be gentle, yet effective, and reduce the risk of damage. If you have something that’s really stuck, call your dentist to schedule a quick visit.
We always recommend that our patients brush their teeth twice a day and floss at least once daily to remove bacteria, plaque, and leftover food particles that have accumulated throughout the day. Practicing good oral hygiene habits can help prevent food traps and keep your teeth protected.